NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A new mental health resource is available for students in the Lowcountry as the new school year begins. Trident Medical Center opened a new adolescent unit at their Live Oak Mental Health and Wellness facility less than a week ago.
The psychiatrist at the facility, Ryan Byrne, recommends starting that back-to-school routine before the school year starts, noting that a self-care routine is one good mental health practice, that includes eating well and getting enough sleep.
Heading into the school year adolescent mental health is important as Dr. Byrne said the social aspect and academic stress can play a role in a student’s mental health.
“I think especially as we reach middle school and high school years, school is a significant stressor for a combination of factors. One, the social aspect of school, things like bullying, things like friend relationships that there are struggles with, then the academic side especially with high school,” said Dr. Byrne.
Dr. Byrne said at least 20% of adolescents will suffer from some type of mood disorder including anxiety, ADHD, or depression. The doctor told News 2 that parents know their students best; if they notice any major changes in their teens’ behavior, he suggests they seek help.
Another good mental health practice, recommended by Dr. Byrne, for families entering the school year is family dinners.
“I mentioned family meals specifically, having a routine where there is a set time where families are going to be together and there is going to be communication, that will already open channels of communication, prior to their being a crisis or an issue that needs to be discussed,” said Dr. Byrne.
The new adolescent mental health facility opened last weekend and has a 15-bed unit and caregivers who specialize in mental health care for the younger age group.